Jamaica Caribbean Colloquium Gender Culture and the Law



The Honourable Olivia Grange
To what extent do Caribbean laws ensure gender equality and the empowerment of women? How does society explore and resolve cultural attitudes and values that are inimical to internationally agreed human rights standards?

These areas will be under critical examination when the Government of Jamaica through its Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, UN Women and the Commonwealth Secretariat co-host a Caribbean Colloquium on Gender, Culture and the Law in Jamaica from 21-23 June 2011.

Barriers to the full realization of gender equality and to addressing violations against women’s rights  will be discussed by representatives of national women’s organisations; ministries of law and justice, the judiciary, lawyers, human rights advocates and non-governmental organisations from across the Caribbean.

The primary objectives of the meeting are to:

  • Explore the ways in which law reform reflects and/or promotes cultures of equality
  • Share Caribbean developments in the content and administration of justice that advance access to justice for women
  • Facilitate dialogue on needed areas of socio-legal policy reform andcultural change.

Among those participating, along with the host Minister for Youth, Sports and Culture the Honourable Olivia Grange will be Jamaica’s Attorney General, the Honourable Dorothy Lightbourne.  The feature address will be delivered by Justice Desiree Bernard of the Caribbean Court of Justice and dame Billie Miller, former Deputy prime Minister of Barbados will speak to experiences of making legal change towards equality even in circumstances where such change might have been culturally resisted.

This colloquium represents the fourth such strategic dialogue that the Commonwealth Secretariat has convened with key stakeholders in the area of gender, culture and the law, with follow through on technical and funding assistance at the national level.

The meeting will also address shared family responsibilities and the responsibility of men; ending gender-based violence, sexual health and rights as well as issues of workplace discrimination.


For further information, please contact:Sharon Carter-Burke - Communications Specialist - UN WOMEN (Caribbean Office), Tel: (246) 467-6000 ext. 6124, Fax: (246) 437-6596